The inspiration for the above chemis-tree came from Ed Escudero's tree featured on last December/January’s cover of Chem 13 News. My grade 11 chemistry students made the tree and the ornaments were created by the students in our new Science Club. I started the club last year and it was a huge success, appealing to both science and non-science students alike. In a similar holiday theme, some of my grade 10 students made some chemis-tree ornaments using the Brashear Silvering process.
To make these holiday ornaments, we used the procedure from the cover of the December 2000 issue of Chem 13 News entitled Lab: Chemis-tree ornament* submitted by Alina D. Mills of Thomas Jefferson High School in Tampa FL. I followed it to the letter. But I should tell you that not all of the 24 students making the ornaments had success. I wonder whether they didn't follow the instructions carefully. It seems to be a bit hit-and-miss. My first plan was to use test tubes, but looking through the cupboard in my lab, I happened upon an unmarked box of flat-bottomed cylindrical glass vials with white plastic caps — they were perfect! I used a small diameter single hole-punch to punch a hole in the cap and then threaded ribbon through the hole. We added some dollar-store gems and sparkly lettering to decorate the vials.